UNITED STATES  |  South-Central Nevada, Nevada Travel Guide
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Tonopah, Nevada (cc)
Photo: Cooper


The largest city in this portion of Pioneer Territory, Tonopah has ridden the roller coaster of the mining industry since rancher Jim Butler first discovered silver and set off the local boom in 1900.

Today Tonopah is a good jumping-off point for hiking and fishing expeditions and general exploring because of its prime location: 26 miles north of Goldfield at the intersection of north-south-running US 95 and NV 376, and east-west-running US 6.

Before heading out, however, pick up a copy of the superb visitors pamphlet from the Chamber of Commerce, 301 Brougher Avenue, 702- 482-3558, and spend a few hours following its trail. Just off US 95 on Logan Field Road, the Central Nevada Museum, 702-482-9676, boasts a yard and building full of an extensive collection of artifacts, photographs and exhibits, including one on Nevada’s unsung Chinese immigrants who helped build the state’s first infrastructure and once constituted 6% of the population. A library, slide show and research facilities, including a map room, are available by special request. The museum is open daily, 9 AM to 5 PM. Admission is free.

The Tonopah Historic Mining Park is one of Nevada’s true hidden gems, not to mention a very commendable effort at sustaining the memories of the Wild West’s heyday. Located on the north edge of town, near the end of Queen Street below Mount Oddie, the 70-acre park is situated on the site of Jim Butler’s original Tonopah mining claim. The hillsides abound with the original headframes, power plants, ore bins, mine stopes (step-shaped excavations found in old mines) and numerous mining artifacts. As this is being written, park officials are planning regular tours on Saturdays. For more information, call 702-482-5355.

Other highlights on the streets of Tonopah include the 1905 Neo- Classical Nye County Courthouse, the Queen Anne-style Arthur Raycraft House, which dates to 1906, and the 1907 George A. Bartlett House. As a judge, Bartlett was primarily responsible for Nevada’s unique divorce laws, which helped put the state on the map.

Within an hour’s drive of Tonopah are three of America’s newest and least-visited federally designated wilderness areas: Arc Dome, Alta Toquima and Table Mountain, which total more than 260,000 acres.

Last updated March 16, 2012
Posted in   United States  |  South-Central Nevada
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